From Beck to Gus Van Sant, friends offered glowing eulogies and memories of a man who was sincere, earnest, and shy, as well as troubled with depression. Although the news of the self-inflicted stab wounds was tragic, the report was not altogether surprising. From his downbeat songs to his moody temperament, Smith had been dubbed "the unhappiest man in the land." There were also several reports of other suicide attempts.
But last week the LA County Coroner released a press statement that reopened speculation on the case. The press release stated that "the mode of death remains 'undetermined' due to incomplete knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death." According to a spokesperson from the LAPD homicide division, the coroner's report triggers further investigation into the possibility that Smith may not have killed himself. The detective was unable to provide any further details as to suspects, or even if there are any suspects at all.
The coroner's report does not rule out suicide. Instead, the coroner's office has reported that the trauma could have been either inflicted by Smith himself or just as easily by another person. Although the coroner's report fails to close the case on Smith, it did conclude there were "no signs of illegal or controlled substances in the system."